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Caution: Lemonade Diet Results in Nutritional Deficiencies

Updated on September 12, 2010
Lemons are the dominant ingredient in the lemonade diet
Lemons are the dominant ingredient in the lemonade diet

The Lemonade Diet or Master Cleanse claims to be an effective means to cleanse the body as well as get rid of the detriments that are a result of unhealthy habits such as alcohol drinking, drugs, tobacco, and processed foods.

The cleansing process involves drinking a mixture made from lemons, cayenne pepper and Grade B maple syrup. No solid food is consumed throughout the cleansing process. For those who are in good health, the body will get rid of toxins through the kidneys, lungs, liver and other organs via their normal everyday function. A detoxification program is mainly used for those who have accumulated toxins in their bodies because of poor lifestyle habits.

The lemonade diet may offer good short term results, however, nutrition researcher Jane Clark points out that this kind of cleansing regime lacks essential nutrients resulting in the deficiency of vitamins, protein and minerals in the diet. Because of these deficiencies and the severe restriction in caloric intake, dieters may experience headaches and a number of other short-term symptoms. These side effects demonstrate that long term adherence to a master cleanse or lemonade diet can be harmful to one’s health.

The main concern about the lemonade diet is the deficiency in essential nutrition. As mentioned above, the only source of nutrients and energy in this diet are gained from the mixture of water, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup. Laxative tea replaces the fiber, but it does not constitute what the body needs. Above all, any diet that does not provide an average of 1200 calories per day is not safe nor does it support optimal health.

However, there are other ways to cleanse the body without suffering from abdominal pain and diarrhea, as has been reported with this diet. Dehydration is a clear negative effect, which requires constant monitoring. Nausea, dizziness, fever, vomiting, blurred vision, headache and fatigue are signs of dehydration.

This diet is not intended for weight loss. It has been reviewed and used exclusively for detoxification. It is strongly suggested by health experts that this kind of diet be followed for a restricted length of time. A few days, up to 10, is helpful, any longer can be very harmful.

In conclusion, the lemonade diet, also known as the Master Cleanse, is the latest trend in weight loss. The truth is that lemons are not magical fat burners. Try the lemonade diet as a detoxification tool but use caution as it should not be used as a weight loss regime. A healthy diet rich in whole foods and minimal amounts of processed foods is the best way to lose weight and maintain a healthy figure.

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